The most stressful part of going to a camping festival, for me, has always been food prep. In the past, I’ve either over packed food that I ended up not eating or ended up at the food vendors because I didn’t bring enough!
Some people avoid bringing camping stoves or coolers and stick to non-perishable snacks. Others choose to buy meals from vendors throughout the weekend. If you enjoy cooking and don’t mind putting in some preparation, you can whip up some delicious meals at your campsite! There are lots of ways to approach food at camping festivals, so here are some tips for packing food at a camping festival to get the most out of both your money and your time.
Calling all chefs!
Do you have a camping stove and enjoy cooking for your festy fam? Here are some ideas for meals and tips for your packing and prep.
Obviously, the better quality cooler you have, the longer your ice will stay. It’s important to keep an eye on your ice to make sure none of your food spoils. Make time to locate the ice vendor and refill your cooler as needed.
Bring plenty of propane if you plan to cook at your campsite. Nothing sucks more than forgetting gas for your stove!
Try to prep as much of your meals as much as you can before you head to the fest. You can cut veggies, pre-cook meat, or even crack eggs into a water bottle to save time and space by getting rid of packaging. These tricks will also help you cut down on garbage, which is especially useful at leave no trace festivals.
Use air-tight containers to store your food in your cooler to avoid any leaking or spilling. Make sure to put condiments in air-tight containers, as well. I’ll never forgive myself for the time my sriracha bottle exploded in my cooler and I accidentally filled my water bottle with spicy ice. Yuck.
Bring a bucket, sponge, and biodegradable dish soap to clean your dishes after meals. Avoiding paper products in your camp kitchen is a great way to be sustainable and environmentally conscious at camping events.
Meal Ideas for Camping Festivals:
Walking tacos - use bags of chips, pre-cooked taco meat, pre-cut toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and jalapeno.
Breakfast casserole - pre-cook hashbrowns, eggs, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, and cheese all baked together in a large pan. Slice and heat up on the camp stove.
Veggie stir fry - pre-cut veggies and pre-cook rice. Heat up on the camp stove with soy sauce and seasonings of your choice.
If you don’t have a camping stove, you can come prepared with plenty of food that doesn’t need any heat.
I recommend pickles, deli sandwiches or PB&Js, hard boiled eggs, nuts, chips, fresh fruit, veggies and dip, or pasta salad - my all-time favorite camping festival food! I love bringing pasta salad in my cooler because it’s a hearty meal that doesn’t require any cooking. I use Italian dressing, bell peppers, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, salami, and green onion in mine.
Flying in, not bringing a cooler, or just looking to experience yummy food from a variety of vendors?
Bring plenty of cash and eat onsite! Be sure to look at the food vendors ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions. Most camping festivals will have some veggie/vegan or gluten-free friendly options for you.